Chuck Grassley calls out Chief Justice Roberts on Senate Floor

Photo by
Photo of Sen. Grassley by

Sen. Chuck Grassley took the Senate floor to call out Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday. “The chief justice is part of the problem,” Iowa’s senior senator said.

Ten days before the late Atonin Scalia died in February, Roberts made a speech in which he decried the Senate confirmations, saying, “The process is not functioning very well.”

“We don’t work as Democrats or Republicans,” Roberts said at the time. “When you have a sharply political, divisive hearing process, it increases the danger that whoever comes out of it will be viewed in those terms.”

Grassley said that Roberts, nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005, has it “exactly backwards.”

“The confirmation process doesn’t make the justices appear political,” Grassley said. “The confirmation process has gotten political precisely because the court itself has drifted from the constitutional text and rendered decisions based instead on policy preferences.”

“Many of my constituents believe, with all due respect, that the chief justice is part of the problem,” Grassley said. “They believe that [a] number of his votes have reflected political considerations, not legal ones.”

Grassley has said he doesn’t want to confirm President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, this year, although he revealed that would meet with Garland next week.

Garland, born in Chicago in 1952, has worked as a chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals since 1997 in the District of Columbia. He is the second cousin of Gov. Terry Branstad.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.